Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Voters In Palmer, Alaska Pass Anti-Smoking Ordinance In October 2012 Election; Also Applies To E-Cigarettes

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough was one of several Alaska jurisdictions holding local elections on October 2nd, 2012, and among the more controversial results was the passage of an anti-smoking ordinance in Palmer. The Mat-Su Frontiersman already has a story about the overall election results.

-- Mat-Su Borough election results HERE.
-- Houston City election results HERE.
-- Wasilla City election results HERE.
-- Palmer City election results HERE.

Pushing the idea was David Cheezem, owner of Fireside Books in Palmer and chair of Smoke-Free Palmer, the organization in charge of putting the ordinance on the ballot. They only needed 123 signatures to get it on the ballot. Another prominent supporter was Janet Kincaid. Also supporting the ordinance was Jenny Olendorff, co-chair of the Alaska Tobacco Control Alliance. However, some bar owners were concerned about losing business, since no other community in Mat-Su has an anti-smoking ordinance. The Borough cannot pass a borough-wide ordinance unless borough residents vote to give the assembly health powers, but that would take a ballot proposition.

Voters passed Ordinance 12-015, which prohibits smoking in places of employment and certain public places, with 61.5 percent of the vote. Unlike other similar ordinances elsewhere, the ban not only applies to smokeable tobacco products, but also applies to e-cigarettes, which emit a visible vapor rather than smoke.

In general, the ban applies to all enclosed public places within Palmer, all enclosed places of employment, and all enclosed properties or vehicles owned by the city of Palmer. It also bans smoking within 20 feet of the entrance to enclosed areas owned or controlled by the city, within 50 feet of the entrance to any hospital or medical clinic, within 10 feet of the entrance to any facility selling alcohol, and in all outdoor playgrounds, playing fields, parks, arenas, stadiums, amphitheaters, and public transport kiosks except in designated smoking areas. The ban does not apply to properties owned or controlled by the federal or state government.

Penalties are a $100 fine for the first infraction, $200 for the second infraction within a 24-month period of the first infraction, and $300 for the third infraction within a 24-month period from the date of the most recent infraction.

Other Alaska communities with similar anti-smoking ordinances include Anchorage, Juneau, Nome, Unalaska, and Klawock. Yet we can't seem to get an ordinance to control the drunk homeless cretins who infest parts of Anchorage and who actually endanger the public by aggressive panhandling, public urination, and public defecation. I haven't seen any smokers panhandling, urinating, or defecating in public.

2 comments:

  1. "Penalties are a $100 fine for the first infraction, $200 for the second infraction within a 24-month period of the first infraction, and $300 for the third infraction within a 24-month period from the date of the most recent infraction".

    AND THIS IS THE ONLY REASON.MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

    ISN'T THAT RIGHT,NEANDERTHALS?

    YOU DON'T REEEEEALY THINK THEY GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT THE PEOPLE HEALTH DO YOU?

    WHY NOT LOOK INTO HOW MUCH STOCK THEY OWN IN TOBACCO COMPANIES.

    SURPRISE, SURPRISE.
    LOOKS LIKE THEY WANT THEIR "CAKE AND EAT IT TOO".

    ReplyDelete
  2. While cigarette smoking is tragically unhealthy, e-cigarettes have posed to have its own advantages. Electronic cigarettes should not be banned since a lot of smokers have actually attested to its help when quitting the bad habit.

    ReplyDelete